“I would like to thank you for all your work on my behalf and it is really important to me to have someone who I feel I can trust and advise me.”
If you are affected, either directly or indirectly, specialist lawyers within our Private Client Services group can help you to ensure that your affairs and those of family or loved ones are properly taken care of at a time when you (or they) are at their most vulnerable.
We can assist with a host of issues arising out of the loss of mental capacity, which will fall into one of the following areas of advice:
A power of attorney is a legal document that enables a person (known as the donor) to give another person (known as the attorney) the legal authority to manage the donor's lifetime affairs. It is an extremely useful document, which could save you and your family a great deal of cost, delay and distress.
There are a variety of reasons why someone you trust might need to make decisions for you at different times in your life. It may be that, at some point in the future, illness or old age will mean that you are no longer able to manage your affairs. A power of attorney enables you to plan for this eventuality by nominating a loved one to step in and handle things for you. Alternatively, if you are out of the country for extended periods of time, you may need someone to make decisions for you in your absence.
Importantly, mental capacity is not just something for older people to consider. Young or old, life throws up surprises that catch us unprepared and can leave us unable to deal with the consequences. Powers of attorney are powerful documents, and there are a number of different types available. If you are thinking of entering into one, we recommend that you take our professional advice from the outset, so that you can be sure that the document you sign is properly drafted and fully reflects your wishes.
We can assist with all aspects of mental capacity, including advice on:
For further information on powers of attorney see our client guides to the right.
If a person who does not have an enduring or lasting power of attorney in place becomes unable to manage their own affairs due to lack of mental capacity, it may be necessary to appoint a deputy for them. A deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the affairs and make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person.
Deputyship applications are usually required where all of the following apply:
For further information on Court of Protection see our client guides at the top right of this page.
At Blake Morgan we are able to provide help and advice about applications to the Court of Protection for the following:
The main cause of mental incapacity is dementia which often, but by no means always, occurs in old age. Another common cause is personal injury which often results from serious accidents or poor medical treatment. In these circumstances, it may be possible to claim compensation through personal injury litigation.
Our team of specialists is able to guide you through such a claim. It may be possible to obtain interim payments to assist with any alterations to your property or to enable you to move residence. It is also important to ensure that an appropriate care regime is in place to enable the injured individual to live as independently and as full a life as possible. We can provide expert assistance with setting an appropriate care and therapy regime.
The personal injury or clinical negligence compensation awarded may be substantial and require special treatment, either through the involvement of the Court of Protection or through a trust arrangement.
Every person who receives such compensation should consider setting up a personal injury trust as it can help you manage your finances and safeguard the value of your compensation award. A personal injury trust is set up to hold your compensation award on your behalf and for your benefit.
Few people realise the full effect that a compensation award will have on their financial circumstances. A personal injury trust is particularly beneficial for people who:
We can provide expert advice on which type of trust is most suitable for your needs, who you should appoint as your trustees, and how the trust can be managed to ensure that your compensation is only used for the purposes you intended and for your benefit. Where possible, you would be included as one of the trustees and, if a professional person is required or desired, partners here at the firm can act as one of your trustees.
If the personal injury trust requires Court approval, due to the mental incapacity of the injured person or because they are under 18, our specialists in this area can make the necessary application to the Court of Protection.
We can advise on the creation of the personal injury trust and also the ongoing management and administration. Furthermore, whilst we cannot give financial advice, we can put you in touch with an independent financial advisor to ensure that your compensation is properly invested. As Blake Morgan provides a complete legal service we can also assist with any related matters such as taxation or the sale and purchase of property.
A hugely important decision was handed down by the Supreme Court this week, affecting what families can do when a loved one is on life support.
Eve Piffaretti discusses why there is a strong signal for practitioners to consider mindfulness as an alternative approach to early intervention to prevent and combat mental ill-health.
Rebecca Davies was just a few months old when she was involved in an horrific car accident that changed her life forever.
The Cheshire West case is primarily of interest as it looked to clarify the point at which a person who has lost mental capacity is being deprived of his liberty by their carers. The Court of Protection decision was overturned by the Supreme Court.